Dragon 1/72 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS, kit 7237

There has always been something magnetic about this US amphibious vehicle. When the kit was recently presented to me I decided it deserves some attention, as it’s a whole bunch of firsts in a single package. Let’s see…

Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Kit box top

Spue A has the cupola (actually two – one of each pre- and post modernization), armament and smoke grenade launchers, the front fenders, and the old suspension. Two options are presented for the in-the-water propulsion system – propeller boxes can be shown opened or closed with two pairs of separate details. You can make up the relative sizes of the parts – the grid on the cutting mat is 1 cm square.

Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Sprue A, top view
Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Sprue A, bottom view

The top and tail troop compartment doors, the hatches for the cupola, driver and commanders positions are found on the second section of sprue A. Considering the absence of interior details I’ll build my copy all buttoned up. The two optional wave deflectors (raised or stowed) allow you to build your AMTRACK ready for some wet action. Please note that the shown suspension details are only intended for the pre-upgrade vehicles, and are unused if you are building the RAM/RS version.

Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Sprue A, part 2, top view
Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Sprue A, part 2, bottom view

Sprue B informs you right away that it is stolen right off the M2/M3 Bradley family of kits to correctly represent the RAM/RS upgrade to the AAVP-7, which includes the full Bradley suspension set (and the engine you can’t see).

Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Sprue B, top view
Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Sprue B, bottom view

Sprue C are the two parts of the hull – Dragon split it to top and bottom halves. The mating surfaces between them go where the real weld is, so they get props for that. As with many DML releases it has holes and stubs for fastening the two portions of the hull together with screws. The exhaust will have to be cut off to fit the new muffler of the updated vehicle.

Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Sprue C (hull), top and side view
Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Sprue C (hull), bottom view

I really like the way weld lines on the sides and the lower nose, as well as the multi-faceted front mudguards, are reproduced. Good luck to those of you who would be drilling out all the mounting points for the EAK armor 🙂 The holes in the lower hull can easily be filled in with sections of sprue (Dragon provides the correct diameters 😛 ) and some Squadron putty.

Sprue D has the lower hull sides and the molded-on suspension arms, as well as the new muffler.

Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Sprue D top view

Here is the photo etched fret. You can easily discern the two mesh covers over the engine, as well as the heat guard over the muffler. The other parts are various handles and grab rails. Honestly, I would make the latter out of thin wire or sprue, as the fret is quite thin and they’d look too 2D if you used the stock ones. Image courtesy of Dragon Models Limited.

Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Photo etched parts

The kit uses single-piece DS tracks – apparently also from the Bradley family. The DS sprue also has 16 poly caps for the running gear, as well as several other parts that are probably related to the Bradleys and are not used on the amphibious vehicle.

Decals are printed by Cartograf and allow for two vehicles to be made OOB:

– 3rd Amphibious Assault Batallion, 1st Marine Division, Baghdad 2003;

– An unnamed unit of the Italian Armed Forces as of 2005.

Image courtesy of Dragon Models Limited.

Dragon 7237 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS 1/72
Decal sheet

As it is right now, the decals of the Marine version kind of contradict the cover photo, which shows the codes yellow instead of white. Main wheels are also shown Sand-colored instead of green as in the color reference chart.

So there you have it. Next step – building this monster 🙂 Many thanks to HobbyCult for the review sample.

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